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Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby Jay_Santos » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:15 am

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Climate Zone: Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b
Hi, I am new here. I am from Sonoma, Ca. I have been reading just about every post on every thread on this forum about cherimoyas in the past few days. I fell in love with the custard apple family of fruits ever since I spent 6 weeks in Mexico and had my first "guanabana paleta." That was 7 years ago. Since that time, I stumbled onto cherimoyas at the local Safeway here in Sonoma. They get about 5 or 6 of them in per year, and they charge about 5 bucks a piece. Anyway, I kept some of the seeds, and now I have two cherimoya trees at the side of my house in a 3/4 wine barrel that I baby every winter. They are about 5 feet tall or so. No fruit yet, and no flowers, darn it.
Two years ago, I purchased two small pawpaw cultivars, a Rebecca's Gold and a Pennsylvania Golden, and they seem to be thriving in my backyard, although for two years now they have put out plenty of maroon flowers, but still no fruit. So, I still have not tasted what a pawpaw tastes like. Argggh.
I don't have much land to work with, just a small frontyard and a smaller backyard, but I make the most of what I have, and I do try to grow unusual things whenever feasible. For example, I wanted a plum tree, but instead of any old red plum, I went and got a greengage plum. And call me weird, but I prefer mulberries to a more popular fruit like cherries, so I've got 2 mulberry trees (a pakistan and a lavender) also in 3/4 wine barrels. I also have a red raspberry, a loganberry, and a black raspberry, in 3/4 wine barrels, along with a bunch of other types of raspberries and blackberries and especially blueberries all around the house. That's not counting the garden, of course.
But anyway, back to the custard apple family, Axel, I would especially like to ask you something. You mention in one thread that you have identified and are growing some cultivars of cherimoyas that are best suited for California. What I really would be interested in is finding out whatever cultivar of cherimoya can handle the COLD best, because I am right on the edge of being able to grow them, I think. Winters are just about pushing it for the two cherimoyas I do have. Do you have any others that you know are the hardiest? Man, I would really be interested in buying a few seeds off of you, or a seedling tree or something. I would like to "go for the gold" someday and actually get a cherimoya in the ground around here! Either that, or I might just get another pawpaw or two, and put them in the ground in the front.
I am not up on any hill, I am right in town in Sonoma Valley. Sunset Zone 14.

Re: Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby Axel » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:40 am

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Jay, it's very hard to to grow cherimoyas in Sonoma because of the cold Winters. Even here in the Santa Cruz mountains, the only producing cherimoyas I have are growing against southwest facing walls with overhead protection.

If you are willing to espalier them and grow them against the south or west facing wall of your house, and you are willing to protect, then you should be able to grow them just fine. The varieties that have worked for me include Fino De Jete, Booth, selma (red fleshed) and Inca Red. Bays has fruited for me too, and a friend of mine has had success with pierce and white.

The one variety that has failed miserably for me is elixir, stay away from that one, it's best for Orange county, but not for Northern California.

Seedlings are ok, but it's hit and miss, you will never know what you're going to get.

BTW, I love my mulberries, not as much as my cherries, but a very close second. I have Pakistan, Oscar and black beauty (morus nigra). Pakistan is wonderful, but oscar has not been very good, so I plan on removing it next year.
Tropical gardening in both Kaua'i windward Sunset H2/USDA 12b and Fallbrook Sunset 23/USDA 10b.

Re: Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby Jay_Santos » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:50 am

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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:25 pm
Climate Zone: Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b
Yeah, I was afraid of that. Say, where do you even find such cultivars? The only nursery I've found in California that has ANY kind of cherimoyas is LaVerne, and as you've already noted, their cultivars can't cut it for northern cal.

(by the way, you wrote in one post awhile back that you were losing a lot of cherries to birds. well, I am sure you must already know this, but I'll try anyway just in case: Ever try using mulberries as a trap crop for the birds, to get them off the cherries?)

Re: Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby nullzero » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:38 am

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I am growing mulberries in containers as well. I have a Weeping Mulberry that is producing well, this year it produced about 1-2 gal of mulberries. I am growing 2 varieties of Cherimoya; Elixir and Selma. The garden is in Orange County however, and Elixir performs excellent for me. Last year the container Elixir, produced one fruit without any pollination on my part. This year I am expecting 2-4 fruits (since the tree is still somewhat small, and I have done no hand pollination).

From observations, Elixir handles the dry heat very well. Selma flowers had issues with drying out in the mid day heat wave recently. While Elixir flowers, seemed to have very few dried flowers.

Re: Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby Jay_Santos » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:42 am

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Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:25 pm
Climate Zone: Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b
And to think I used to live in SoCal for most of my life and could have been more easily growing cherimoyas. Darn. But I didn't know about them then. Plus, I wasn't even into growing things back then, so it's a moot point. Oh, the time we wasted. Nevermind.

Re: Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby Gringo Bob » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:25 am

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Climate Zone: zone 17
Cultivars of Cherimoya ??? ....heck, except for citrus, mangos, and avocado ..the garden centers in Costa Rica (viveros) haven't got a clue what cultivar a plant it is! The majority of annonas, sapodillias, persimmon, lyeche, rambutan etc. are grown from seed here. Even when you do find a grafted plant ...they generally don't have a clue what cultivar it is (even in Spanish) ...they only say it will mature to a smaller height and be more productive. They possibly know the color of the fruit (e.g., yellow or red rambutan.)

I have to wait and find out what quality of fruit some of my fruit trees will produce. Frustrating !!! ....and, It makes me a bit jealous of all you annona, sapote (and other) cultivar collectors !

Re: Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby Axel » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:09 pm

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I've been in Costa Rica, I don't think people have the time to wonder about cultivars. But at least you have the right climate for growing all sorts of tropicals. Gringo bob, are you in the mountains, the main plateau or at sea level?
Tropical gardening in both Kaua'i windward Sunset H2/USDA 12b and Fallbrook Sunset 23/USDA 10b.

Re: Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby Gringo Bob » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:51 pm

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Posts: 51
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 8:42 pm
Climate Zone: zone 17
Axel, I live in the South Pacific Mountain Range, Costa Rica (alt. approx. 3,000 feet) about 16 miles south of San Isidro.

Yeah, the climate is great ....makes me feel a bit sorry to hear things like "I've had my yellow passion fruit for three years now and it's finally flowering" -when here I plant a seedling and it's loaded with fruit within a year, and I have to frequently add new cable to handle all the new growth. Many plants/trees can be cultivated simply by sticking a cutting in the ground during rainy season. Citrus and mango cultivars (grafted) cost about $4 each, avocado $6 each ...(not many cultivars available though -especially of other fruits) seedlings generally cost about $2 each ...a bit less expensive than in the states. So basically, for a fruit tree lover, the living is good here.

... it's great to have the Cloudforest as a source of information. Thanks !

Re: Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby RodneyS » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:05 pm

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Welcome to the CloudForest, Jay

Re: Cherimoyas for Sonoma?

Postby Brian » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:25 pm

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Location: Concord, CA
Climate Zone: 9ish
El Bumpo did not make it last winter in Concord, CA. I think Sonoma is colder then I am. After the Jan warm up things got cold again and that's when I suffered damage.


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